Dump Truck vs Dump Trailer – Which is the Right One for You?

white dump truck at a dusty road

Different truckers have varying needs when it comes to the big rig that they need to acquire, even when it comes to choosing between dump trucks and dump trailers. While many people deem that the two are interchangeable, there are certain features on a dump truck that you may not be able to find on a dump trailer and vice versa. Dump trucks are used to carry heavy loads while dump trailers are broader but more ideal for hauling lighter loads. 

This article provides a comprehensive guide on what you need to know when it comes to choosing between a dump truck or a dump trailer.

Dump Truck

A dump truck is a big rig that is shorter and smaller than a dump trailer even if they serve the same purpose, which is carrying a wide variety of loads from one place to another. The lifting mechanisms of dump trucks are often technologically advanced but this can still vary depending on their specific design. Most dump trucks are also pre-assembled, which means that they already work as-is, alleviating you from having to pick between different vehicles.


Perhaps the main benefit that you can get from going with a dump truck is its strength and stability. Dump trucks are designed with unique construction features that make them stronger than dump trailers. For this reason, they are also stable such that you are guaranteed that they won’t lose their balance as you are dumping loads. It is also easier to maneuver a dump truck compared to a dump trailer, which means that you will be able to easily learn how to control it.


When it comes to the drawbacks of buying a dump truck, the main disadvantage that you will most likely be faced with is its cost. More often than not, a dump truck costs five to ten times more than a dump trailer. It is also less versatile compared to a dump trailer because of its limited size and length. This means that while you will be able to hold heavy loads, you won’t be able to exceed its specifications because you cannot replace the trailer.

Nevertheless, if you are looking into starting a trucking business, you can easily find the best deals on dump trucks with UsedVending. 

Dump Trailer

A dump trailer is basically a trailer with a dump tub hitched behind it. Some already come pre-assembled, which means that they are already designed to work as dump vehicles. Dump trailers are also taller and broader compared to dump trucks but they are more suitable for lighter loads even with their size. Nevertheless, the load they can carry still depends on how they are manufactured. Rest assured that you will be able to pick from different dump trailer models to suit your specific needs and preferences. There are even instances wherein you can choose the dump trailer separately, which adds to the versatility of this vehicle.


One of the primary advantages of a dump trailer is its larger size and broader bed. Because of their relatively large size, you will be able to pour more load seamlessly. Dump trailers also come with a lifting mechanism that tends to be simpler than other truck options. This type of big rig is also considered to be more cost-effective compared to dump trucks. You also have the versatility to acquire a dump trailer and attach any other kind of vehicle to turn it into a big rig that will suit your purpose.


While a dump trailer provides several benefits, there are also certain drawbacks with this big rig that you need to be familiar with. For one, it can be quite harder to control compared to a dump truck. It is also less stable, particularly when you are attempting to dump a load using its lifting mechanism. More often than not, this is experienced with larger dump trailers carrying heavier loads.

Feature Comparison

Dump trucks and dump trailers often have the same features necessary in carrying and transferring loads. In this case, it is a good idea to compare their weight capacity, control, dumping mechanism, as well as price. When it comes to weight capacity, a dump trailer will prove to be more advantageous because of its size. However, it can also be harder to maneuver. This means that dump trucks prove to be a better choice because they can be quite easier to control. Rest assured that the dumping mechanism of both types of big rigs is quite similar. Nevertheless, the price may be your deciding factor as dump trucks generally cost more than dump trailers.

The Bottomline

When it comes to choosing between a dump truck or a dump trailer, you have to have a good idea of the benefits and drawbacks of each. From there, you will be in a better position to assess which is better in satisfying your requirements. Take note to also compare the features of each to ensure that you are acquiring the truck that you will be able to maximize in terms of use and efficiency.

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